Wind, water, solar – the opportunities for renewable energy research and production in Maui are boundless. Surrounded by ocean, bathed in abundant sunshine and covered by a mountainous landscape, Maui is a perfect fit for harnessing the power of mother nature.
The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
In 2008, a partnership between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy launched the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative aims to transform Hawaii into a world model for energy independence and sustainability. The goal is to meet 70% of Hawaii’s energy needs with clean energy by 2030.
Additionally the County of Maui is charting a course to develop clean energy technologies for use at home and across the world, to help protect the natural environment for generations to come. Maui is home to a growing portfolio of power production options, including community-based sustainable biodiesel, wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric. With aggressive high technology tax incentives – a 100% return on cash investments and a 20% research tax credit in qualified businesses – Maui looks to continue its course as a community powered by and invested in clean energy.
Clean, Renewable Energy Generation on Maui
Two large renewable energy projects—a 30-megawatt wind farm (the state’s largest) and a 16-megawatt biomass power plant burning bagasse at a commercial sugar operation—already provide Maui with about 20% renewable energy generation. Maui also has a few megawatts of hydroelectric generation, and rooftop PV distributed across the island currently contributes approximately 1 megawatt to the island’s renewable energy portfolio.
Additional Renewable Resources
Technical assessments show that Maui has significant additional resource potential, including
- Wind energy—67 megawatts
- Biomass energy—25 megawatts
- Geothermal energy—140 megawatts
- Solar thermal energy (exact capacity to be determined).
Proposed renewable generation projects include 42 megawatts of wind energy, 6 megawatts of biomass power, and 10 megawatts of geothermal.Although ocean energy technologies are not yet proven on a commercial scale, Maui is at the forefront of ocean energy research. The island is planning to help test and demonstrate a wave project off its north coast in the near future.
Maui Clean Technology Firms
|Company||Products / Services|
|Bio Energy Systems of Hawaii||Renewable energy production facilities development and operation, with an emphasis on biomass fueled systems|
|Gen-X Energy||Renewable energy development, installation, operation, maintenance and financing|
|HC&S Company||Bagasse and hydroelectric power generation|
|Hnu Photonics||Diversified renewable technologies, scientific instruments and medical devices incubator; mechanical, opto-mechanical and electro-opto-mechanical technologies manufacturer|
|Kaheawa Wind Power||Wind power production|
|Pacific Biodiesel||Community-based biodiesel fuel production|
|Peletex||Air filtration research and development|